Report from the Star Wars Generation

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Zine
Title: Report from the Star Wars Generation
Publisher:
Editor(s): Jon Bradley Snyder
Date(s): 1991-1993
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links: online here by [PDF of 1993 fanzine Report From The Star Wars Generation! – SUBMITTERATOR, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Report from the Star Wars Generation is a non-fiction Star Wars zine of satire, photos, articles, photos, and essays.

The third issue received a cease and desist letter from George Lucas.

In 1997, a fellow faned said, "In only three issues of that 'zine, he set a standard for all SW fanzines that BH can only hope to live up to." [1]

Three Issues, Two Different Formats

This zine had three issues: the first two were black-and-white photocopied newsletters, the third a 24-page color glossy magazine with the word "Premier" on the front cover. It was the third issue that most fans are familiar with. It is also the issue that caught Lucasfilms' eye, and ultimately led to its downfall. [2]

From a 2001 Interview with the Editor

From Interview with Jon Bradley Snyder (2001):

Let's go way back to the beginning. Your first fanzine, 'Report From the Star Wars Generation', grabbed the attention of Lucasfilm. How long was it in production before you left to work for Lucasfilm? Let's make one thing clear, because I think some people are a bit confused about this; I have never worked for Lucasfilm. I worked for Fantastic Media, which is a licensee of Lucasfilm, just like Hasbro is a licensee of Lucasfilm. I printed the first issue of 'Report From the Star Wars Generation' back in 1991.
How much was it costing you to put it out? The first issue (Vol 1 #1, 1991: B&W Xerox pages) cost nothing. I borrowed a Xerox machine. The second issue (Vol 1 #2 1992: half-sheet Xerox w/ yellow cover featuring a 3x5 photo) cost next to nothing because I worked at a one hour photo place and had some good buddies that worked at Kinko's in Spokane , WA. The third issue (Vol. 2 #1 1993: full-color offset press cover) cost over $4,000.
Any ideas on the kind of numbers it was doing - like how many copies were distributed per issue? The first issue had less then 75 copies that I mostly just gave away to friends. The second issue I did around 300 copies. The third issue had almost 20,000 copies, most of which were sold to Diamond Comics. I went to offset press and a large print run on the third issue primarily at the urging of Chris Gore of Film Threat fame. He and all the crew at Film Threat at that time were big early supporters of me.
I only saw one once and I don't remember what exactly was in there but there was some pretty controversial stuff in there at times, no? It wasn’t controversial to me. The first issue I did an editorial advocating that America improve the space program so that I could visit the moon. The second issue had an article describing an incident where my friends Greg and Bruce and I smuggled beer in an R2-D2 toy box into a theater to see a charity screening of The Empire Strikes Back. The third issue contained a letter someone had sent me relating a story where they had a one night stand with and actress who played an Ewok. Also in that issue was an article about Frank Allnut’s 1977 book called The Force of Star Wars, in which he described Star Wars as an allegory for Christianity. An illustration that appeared with that article depicted Star Wars personalities as characters from Jesus Christ Superstar. This upset some people, but I don’t know why. Frank Allnut was the one making the comparisons and we were just visualizing and trying subtly point out that the comparisons were a bit absurd.
I understand Lucasfilm, at first, was not too thrilled with your magazine when they got hold of it. Tell me the story about how you go from there to working at Lucasfilm. What happened at the ranch - who did you speak to - what did they say - what was the deal that was made in the end?

Lucasfilm never really mentioned much about the content of the zine to me. They were upset, and justifiably so, that I was using their trademarked name in the title of a magazine, that was being through a major distribution channel for Star Wars products, Diamond Comics. I was a young, naïve punk at the time and did not realize at the time that what I was doing was clearly copyright infringement and could get me in a heap of trouble. (The funny thing is that now, I probably could do the same thing online and nobody would care.) I received a letter from Lucasfilm telling me to 'Cease and Desist', which totally freaked me out. I thought they were going to sue and I didn’t have any money because I had taken all the profits from the third issue and invested in a computer to use to make the next issue. At the time I got this letter the fourth issue was almost completed. I had even solicited the cover to Diamond. The cover consisted of a photo of the back of some guy’s head with the Star Wars logo carved into his hair. The guy, of course, was me. I don’t think I ever needed to prove my fandom credentials ever again after that.

At the same time a fellow at Lucasfilm named Allan Kausch, an old Bay area punk rocker that was way into Phillip K. Dick, bought a copy of Star Wars Generation. He knew that it was a bit out of control from a Lucasfilm standpoint, but thought that I had brought a refreshing slant to Star Wars fandom. He brought me to the attention of his boss, Lucy Wilson. In August 1993 I went out the ranch with my boss at the time, David Latimer, who was also interested in the project, and met with Lucy and Alan. The end result was that, after meeting me, Lucy and Alan were convinced, that I wasn’t a freak, that I was somebody who could be good for Star Wars, and they hooked me up with Dan Madsen at Fantastic Media and I went to work for him on the official magazine a few months later.

Issue 1

Report from the Star Wars Generation 1(v.1 n.1) was printed in 1991 and contains 10 pages. Seventy-five copies were printed and given to friends.

"The first issue I did an editorial advocating that America improve the space program so that I could visit the moon." [3]

Issue 2

Report from the Star Wars Generation 2 was printed in 1992. "It was a half-sheet Xerox w/ yellow cover featuring a 3x5 photo cost next to nothing because I worked at a one hour photo place and had some good buddies that worked at Kinko's in Spokane, WA.... The second issue had an article describing an incident where my friends Greg and Bruce and I smuggled beer in an R2-D2 toy box into a theater to see a charity screening of The Empire Strikes Back." [4]

Three hundred copies were printed.

Issue 3

Report from the Star Wars Generation 3 contains 24 pages of non-fiction Star Wars zine of satire, photos, articles, photos, and articles. It was after this issue that George Lucas shut it down.

20,000 copies were printed.

  • Stretching Ewok Pelts (fake LoCs)
  • The Hep-Cat Star Wars Checklist
  • Endless Magazine Search
  • Bootleg Video Corner
  • Rise and Fall of the I.B.O.J.K.: Confessions of a Star Wars Freak by Nick Friend
  • The Force of Star Wars: Is Luke Skywalker Jesus, plus Joseph Campbell and the Power of Star Wars
  • JesusChrist SuperStarWars: A Pin-up Centerfold
  • Star Wars on Trial: The Made Dogfight
  • The New TOPPS Star Wars Cards!!!: Ten Years Later the Cards Keep Coming!
  • Are You a Collectaholic? (comic)
  • Reviews
  • Star Wars Injuries (comic)

Reactions and Reviews

This is one warped, whacked out publication, but it's the only SW zine you can buy in stores across America, and the only one reviewed by that Holy Book ol Fanzines, Factsheet Five. Besides, we like warped and whacked out.

This issue contains stories on the new SW trading cards (they even included a picture of that x-rated C3PO card!), the SDI-SW controversy, a trilogy showing in Spokane, Washington, and a 200-page book written by a Christian fundamentalist about the Biblical side of the Force. I can tell you from experience that this book, The Force of Star Wars by Frank Allnut, is a really bizarre read. I recommend it for a few laughs, if you can find it. Anyway, that article inspired a "centerfold pin-up" entitled "Jesus Christ Super Star Wars," where the SW crew is dressed up as various characters from the music a lot similar name. (Hmm.. George Lucas meets Andrew Lloyd Webber. I wonder why nobody's thought of that before?). The other cartoons are a laugh riot, especially one about collectaholics The whole zine has an underground feel to it, despite its "big-budget" appearance. You just know the editor listens to band like Mudhoney and King Missile The publishers put out other non-SWzines with titles like "Girlhero" and "Hippiedick." But they certainly love SW just the same. The editor refers to it as the greatest movie ever made" several times. And there is one wonderful quote: "I actively support the growing call for state and federal programs to go out into the community and reach kids with Star Wars." Amen! Next issue promises controversy as they tackle the "Great Ewok Debate: Lovable Furballs or Crass Marketing Ploy?!"

Take your sides now, kids.... [5]

References

  1. from James Addams, the editor of Blue Harvest #12
  2. "To my knowledge, there were no more issues following that first one. I believe LFL send a c&d -- Jon Bradley Snyder, the editor, of course went on to head up Star Wars Insider for a number of years. Also, I believe there were at least a couple newsletter-type issues of SWGen that came out before the slick cover mag. Never seen them though." -- Star Wars Generation Magazine at Rebel Scum Forum, Archived version
  3. T-bone's Star Wars Universe - Interviews - Interview with Jon Bradley Snyder, Archived version
  4. T-bone's Star Wars Universe - Interviews - Interview with Jon Bradley Snyder, Archived version
  5. from Blue Harvest #1